Most Influential Projects 2022

49 Petronia City

Urban Development | Sub-Saharan Africa
Petronia City

For imagining Ghana as a global industrial powerhouse

Ghana is brimming with natural resources, including some of the world’s most lucrative commodities: timber, oil, gold, cocoa, diamonds and manganese (a crucial mineral in the manufacture of mobile phone batteries). Yet in many areas outside the capital city of Accra, Ghana lacks the critical infrastructure to support industry at its full potential scale. 

The answer might seem simple: Build roads and freight systems. Lay wireless cable. Construct airports. Establish utility companies. But fulfilling the thousands of ancillary needs that come with a proliferation of industry takes time and money. So development company Wonda World is suggesting a shortcut: an ambitious initiative to build a 2,000-acre (809-hectare) integrated business center for the oil, gas and mining industries in Ghana and its neighboring countries. Known as Petronia City, the proposed coastal outpost—roughly 200 kilometers (124 miles) west of Accra—would expand the region’s business presence while providing West Africa’s industrial magnates with facilities to share resources and information.

Although Wonda World has been tight-lipped about a possible timeline, project renderings unveiled in March 2022 reveal a sleek, futuristic and sprawling metropolis. The ambitious plan calls for streets lined with office buildings, hotels, conference centers, transportation hubs, a multipurpose arena, retail outlets and schools (including an oil and gas industry-geared university). 

Petronia City’s deeper purpose, it seems, is to accelerate Ghana’s industrial ascent. Last year, Wonda World CEO and founder Nana Kwame Bediako told The Distin: “My dream is not to be extremely successful or find all these riches from development. My dream is to … impact societies.”